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Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?

North Carolina Hurricane Warning SignHurricane season begins in just a few short days. It’s easy to dismiss hurricanes as minor, even routine events…but you shouldn’t. While such a mistake isn’t always fatal, it certainly can make life harder and more miserable than it has to be.

That’s why we wanted to take a moment to remind you of the basic precautions you should be taking. Today is a good day to make sure that you’re ready for the start of the season!

Build Your Emergency Kit

Start by taking stock of your emergency supplies. At the very least you should have the following items on hand:

  • 3 days of emergency water (1 gallon per person).
  • 3 days of emergency food. Food that doesn’t need to be cooked is best.
  • Flashlights and/or battery operated lanterns.
  • A weather radio.
  • Spare batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Wet wipes — especially useful when the water is off.
  • Maps — you can’t rely on Google maps when the power is out.

Make sure you store all of these items in a safe place. You want to be able to get to them easily, and you don’t want to have to hunt all over the house for them.

Disaster Plan

It’s easy to feel a little bit silly coming up with a disaster plan when everything is normal. But such planning can be vital.

At a minimum, you want to address two things. First, you want to figure out how all family members will reunite in the event that everyone is in a different place. If you have Mom at Workplace 1, Dad at Workplace 2, two kids at summer camp and one kid at daycare then getting everyone back to one place can be a challenge.

Remember, cell phones could be non-functional during a true emergency. The lines tend to get clogged. Cell towers tend to go down. So you need to know who is picking up which child. And if you can’t get home due to road closures or other issues, it’s useful to come up with a meeting place. Having an out-of-town relative to serve as the “check in center” can be helpful too.

The second thing you want to address is the location and ease-of-access for vital documents. If you have to evacuate quickly you don’t want your social security cards, birth certificates, insurance documents, ID cards and banking documents sitting at home. It may be best to keep copies in a binder in each car. Children should carry identifying information with them at all times, as well as parent contact information.

If you have pets you’ll want to make a plan for them, as well. You might also think about looking out for elderly neighbors who might not have transportation of their own.

Again, it may seem over the top right now. But these kinds of issues came up for evacuees during Hurricane Katrina, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A Full Tank of Gas

Make sure your gas tank is never less than half full. Evacuation orders could come very quickly.

If you receive an evacuation order, please do not ignore it. It’s not a strong suggestion. It’s not paranoia. Experts who spend their time doing nothing but watching the weather and figuring out what it will do are telling you that things are about to get nasty and that you don’t want to be in town right now. Please listen.

With any luck, of course, we won’t see any signs of a hurricane in North Carolina this year. But if we do, all of us here at JSB Security would like to know that all of our customers, neighbors, and friends are safe and sound.

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